The NJ Supreme Court recently added a defense to the toolkit of NJ DWI defense attorneys. Police now must read the implied consent law to New Jersey DWI suspects in the defendant’s native language. The deciding case was State v. Marquez.
This had obviously put a strain on local law enforcement, since it would be impossible to have an officer or translator on staff that could speak the myriad languages drivers in NJ might speak. The response has been a boom in business for “Language Line,” a call-in company that offers on the spot interpreting services in most languages from a remote location.
Along with probable cause to arrest, this new defense to NJ Refusal to Submit should be considered in every case where the defendant is not fluent in English. It is important to keep in mind that the burden is on the defendant to put forth this affirmative defense. Some testimony will therefore likely be needed from the defendant.